Thursday, January 29, 2009
I took the MRI of my head on Tuesday and thankfully, everything came back ok. I wish that was the end of the story. If you remember correctly, I was also supposed to have an ultrasound on my neck. So what happened? Well, to put it in short terms, they forgot to schedule it. When they called and told me the appointment time for my MRI, I asked if it was for the ultrasound also. They assured me it was. I felt it was weird that I got an auth letter from my insurance and that too only had the MRI,. but since I ASKED, I trusted them. Well, I get to the imaging place and tell me about my MRI and I ask about the ultrasound. They know nothing about it and I call the doctor's right away. Long story short, they DID forget to schedule it. The apologized, but the next day when I finally was able to get a hold of someone who could tell me that yes, they dropped the ball. But on Tuesday afternoon, I was PISSED. I had been waiting and waiting and although one test was clear, to have to wait longer for the other was unacceptable. But, because I was pissed and they were in the wrong, they did a rush on my auth and getting the appointment so, tomorrow afternoon, I have my test.
Other than that, not a whole lot is going on. So, let's end it with my favorite part: 2 new videos of my dogs...
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Anyways, Fran, Jessica's stepmom, got the results of her CT scan and they were mixed. After 9 weeks of chemo, some tumors are bigger, some are smaller, and some are the same. So, since they weren't the worst results we could have gotten, she has decided to do another 9 weeks of chemo and see how it goes. It shows us she isn't ready to give up yet...
This first one is an In 'n Out burger. Awesome...
The next one is a burger from Burger King. I always get the chicken sandwich so I decided to branch out...
The last one is from a VERY nice restaurant here in town that has quickly become our favorite - Crush 29. It is a great place that specializes in wine and the food that accompanies it. Both times I have gone, I have got the salmon baked in Rice Krispies, but I decided to venture out this time and the only thing that was sounding good was the burger. It was wonderful despite not being SUPER fresh as we took it takeout since Fran didn't feel like eating anywhere but home.
Jess also had some ice cream to add to her totals. The other day I made dinner for her and to top it off, I bought an ice cream sandwich.
We had some family in town from New York for Fran's party and we took them to get their first Dairy Queen Blizzard...
So, that makes 5 burgers for me, 3 ice cream treats for Jess.....
Finally, I just killed my drum set in Rock Band. Playing Hard and Expert levels on drums, your drums take a beating and I guess they couldn't take it anymore. Here is the aftermath. I guess it time to buy a new drum set...
Monday, January 19, 2009
First, Jess and I have pretty much recovered from the miscarriage we had. In the end, we thought we never would get pregnant so really, we are really no worse off than we were before. I guess it does give us some hope, but we are still not holding our breath.
On the other hand, Orko's lump is almost gone now. The vet thought it was cancer and the dog oncologist was not certain and would require $700 worth of tests just to find out. We opted out of doing that because of his age. Since then, his lump, which at first was getting noticeably bigger, is now almost completely gone. He has also been rejuvinated and as back to his playful self. We hope all these signs are good signs.
Yesterday we held a birthday party for Jessica's stepmom. As reaching 60 is not a certainty, we held a giant 59th birthday party for her. It was a wonderful time with a ton of people and the amount of love and support shown by everyone was amazing. It was truly an amazing time and everything seemed to run flawlessly.
Tomorrow is the day of truth though as we get the results of her CT scan from last week. She has completed her 9 weeks of chemo and now the CT scan will show if it has done any good. So based on tomorrow's results, she decides her next course of action. If the tumor is still growing, well then, I have a feeling she is done with treatment. If it is around the same size, I have no idea what she will do. If it is shrinking, then I would hope she continues the treatment. The chemo seems to have been really hard on her so I have no idea what she will decide. All we can do is hope for good news tomorrow.
I visited the neurologist last week and talked with him for quite a while. He performed a bunch of tests on me and asked me a lot of questions. He was not quite sure why I was getting headaches. He sounded suspicious of migraines, but he is going to have me do an MRI on my head to rule out anything bad. He is also doing a dopplar test, like an ultrasound, on my neck to see my carotid artery and make sure I don't have something called carotid dissection, or a small tear in my carotid artery that can cause headaches and eventually stroke. So, hopefully everything comes back normal and I just have developed migraines. We shall see.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Some more reviews for you including a couple from a couple of months ago that I forgot to do...
Zach and Miri Make a Porno - I love Kevin Smith movies. I have loved them from the first time I saw Clerks and wondered how they could get away with saying those kinds of things in a movie. Always riding that thin line between funny and obscene, his movies crack me up. When I first heard he would be making a movie about people making porn, I knew he would be taking it to the next level. Boy, did he ever! Now, like usual, I was never offended, but it was easily the most vulgar movie I had ever seen. It was funny as hell and some scenes had me rolling in my seat, but boy was it raunchy. I guess a movie about porn (although it is a sweet love story) was bound to be like that. Here is what did make me uncomfortable as we sat in the theater watching it. A couple of rows up from us were 2 kids, both no older than 10 years old. Yes, on the screen was full frontal nudity, simulated sex acts, and raunchy language, and there were two young kids there - by themselves. How did they get there? Well, when the movie started, they walked in with an adult woman who proceeded to sit them down, and then once they were situated, she took off for the back of theater, to do what or see who, who knows? The fact that they were sitting there by themselves made me very uncomfortable. Still, despite this, I loved the movie. Is was pretty much what I expected and that is good enough for me. 7.5 out of 10
Horton Hears a Who - Quite a difference from the above movie, no? I just saw this the other day as we were given the DVD for Christmas. Despite us being big Dr. Seuss fans as well as fans of Jim Carey and Steve Carrell, we never saw this in the theater. This was a cute family film and there were even a couple of scenes where surprisingly, I laughed out loud. The animation was great and there were like usual, a few in-jokes that probably only adults would get. I am glad we got to see this. 7 out of 10
Journey to the Center of the Earth - When this movie remake came out at the movies in the Summer, I thought it looked like it would be a train wreck and stayed way clear of it. The surprisingly, someone gave it to us for Christmas. You know, it wasn't bad. Not a masterpiece by any means, it was at least watchable and I could see myself watching it over and over if I was a kid. Almost like an Indiana Jones for kids under 10. In the theater, it was in 3D so watching it on DVD, you can clearly see where some scenes were set up for the 3D and it suffers because of this when watching it on DVD. "Why did he just hold that light right up to the screen like that?" Scenes like this give the movie an extra dose of cheesiness it probably didn't need, but in the end, like I said, it was watchable and kept my interest. 6 out of 10
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Beautiful. Honestly, I could probably stop right there because that really sums up what I felt about this movie. I really thought this movie was flawless and didn't mind at all the nearly three hour run time. It felt like a fairy tale and was just so heartwarming, it made me become the most emotional I have had in a long time in a film. Pitt is wonderful and the special effects in this movie to have him at various sizes are simply astounding. The makeup was also great as well, heavy at first since he starts off as an old man, and then gradually getting less and less and he gets "younger." There are very few perfect films that are made. This is one of them. 10 out of 10
Saw V - By now it is just keeping up the tradition - end of October, I know I am going to go see a new Saw sequel. It's like clockwork. Like the other films, there are traps, gruesome deaths, and twists. Like the other ones, I was entertained. Not high art by any means, the continuing storyline of Jigsaw keeps me intrigued. Some movie franchises get destroyed by pointless sequel after sequel (see most 80s horror franchises), but somehow, the Saw series still keeps me entertained and anxious for the next one. Yes, many are people are done with this series, but I still eagerly await each one. 7 out of 10
Vantage Point - What a clever film. The actual storyline of the film is maybe 30 minutes tops. Everything that happens in this 90+ minute film happens within a thirty minute "real time" time frame. So, how does it fill 90 minutes? The story is told from the view points of the various characters in the film. We see a scene from the view point of a character and just when they are about to reveal an important clue, they start all over from someone else's point of view, basically teasing us by turning us the other way right as they are about pull the curtain for the big reveal. Focusing on an assassination attempt, bombing, and kidnapping, there is plenty to be revealed that is hinted at through the various characters but not fully revealed until the very end. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and intrigued. I quite enjoyed this film. 7.5 out of 10
Wall E - If I told you that I just saw a movie that was stuffed full of social commentary; an attack on the American way of life, you might think that I just saw a Michael Moore movie. You probably wouldn't think I just saw a Pixar film. But that is what Wall E is. Yes, kids can enjoy the film and based on how much it made, they did. But this movie probably goes right over the head of children as the messages, although too much for children to grasp, are there to smack you right in the face if you are adult. On the defensive are our lifestyles, our destruction of the environment, and even our tendency to drive out little stores in favor of a one stop fits all big box store. All this from a movie where the two main characters barely speak a word. Now, this is a brilliant film and visually stunning, especially on Blu Ray. The story is wonderful and touching. But this movie goes beyond touching and really drives home its point about the lives we lead, much to the chagrin of many I am sure.. I loved it, but this social commentary may turn off some people. Or, perhaps people won't even notice. Who knows. 9 out of 10
Wanted - I actually thought this looked kind of silly when it came out at the movies. It looked like the special effects might be cool, but that is about it. I rented it on Blu the other day and I LOVED it. Yes, the special effects were great. Not just great, but they were cool. Almost as if it was taking off where the FIRST Matrix film left off. But the story was great too. It had some twists I did not expect and the narration by the main character throughout the film was clever and witty. The action scenes were top notch thanks to the special effects, but it was definitely not an "action first and the script comes secondary" kind of movie(Not that there is anything wrong with those kind of movies on occasion.) They left it open for a potential sequel and I, in fact, hope that they will. I plan on buying this. 9 out of 10.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Not an hour after finding this out, we got results that we were dreading. As readers of this blog know, Jess and I have struggled with infertility for many years now. Well, surprise, surprise, Jess took a pregnancy test on Monday and she was pregnant. The blood work on Monday afternoon confirmed it. But, because of some slight bleeding, we were carefully optimistic as she might have been having some trouble. The only way to find out was to take a test 48 hours later and see if her numbers were going up or going down. Down, was of course, a bad thing.
Scared, but hopeful, we have spent the last 2 days as a couple who were expecting. We talked to it. We touched it. We gave it kisses, all the while telling it to not leave us and promising that we would be wonderful parents if he/she just stuck around.
A while ago, still reeling from the news of our dog, we found out that Jessica's numbers were in fact going down and had suffered a miscarriage. After trying for this long and to have our hopes that high, this is devastating. Words can't really describe what we are going through right now. We had an absolutely horrible 2008 for all intents and purposes and had hopes that 2009 would be so much better. On Jan 5th, we were on cloud 9. Today, January 7th, we see that the year we had last year is just continuing...
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Finally, Jess is now underway in her ice cream total. Sunday night, I went and bought her her favorite, a Blizzard from Dairy Queen. She looks so happy!!!
So....on to a story I heard first on the radio about a month ago and since then, have seen all over the internet and the like. I am sure you have all heard the story by now, but if not, here is one of the many articles on it, this one from USA Today.com
It's not every day that a supermarket's refusal to print a child's name on a cake makes national news. Then again, it's not every day that we come across a 3-year-old named Adolf Hitler Campbell.
The Express-Times explains:
Karen Meleta, a ShopRite spokeswoman, said the grocer tries to meet customer requests but rejects those deemed inappropriate. "We believe the request to inscribe a birthday wish to Adolf Hitler is inappropriate," she said.
The grocer offered to make a cake with enough room for the Campbells to write their own inscription. But the Campbells refused, saying they would have a cake made at the Wal-Mart in Lower Nazareth Township. The Campbells say Wal-Mart made cakes for Adolf's first two birthdays.
A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart said the store won't put anything illegal or profane on a cake but thinks it's important to respect the views of customers and employees. "Our No. 1 priority in decorating cakes is to serve the customer to the best of our ability," Anna Taylor, the spokeswoman, said from Bentonville, Ark.
Young Adolf has two younger sisters. JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell will be two in February, while an infant named after Heinrich Himmler turns 1 in April, according to the paper, which says they live in a house decorated with swastikas and other Nazi paraphernalia.
So yes, you heard it right, the boy's name is Adolf Hitler. The sister is named Aryan Nation. I read another article later in which the father said people need to get over it and it is just a name. I believe he said something along the lines of, "I named him that because I knew he would have a unique name."
Gee, you think? The amount of looks this child and his siblings will be getting for the rest of their lives has to be considered some sort of child abuse in my opinion. What disturbs me is that growing up in this household makes me think he will be raised with some rather horrible view points and he might be taught to be proud of his name. Sure, a name is just a name, but I think this is just distasteful to the highest degree. It sickens me.
Sunday, January 04, 2009
I hope you enjoyed the videos from the last post of the New Years party. I thought there was another video of Jessica and Kelly #2 sitting next to each other during King's Cup, both unable to talk because of a rule, but apparently, I pointed the camera at them and taunted them, but never actually pressed record. Figures...
Tomorrow I get back on my diet/exercise plan that I have been doing with the Wii Fit since June. I haven't really been on any kind of plan the last few weeks and although I know I could just blame it on the holidays.........aw, hell, I am just going to blame it on the holidays. Yeah, yeah, I know if I just had will power, I could have spent the last few weeks eating no treats at all while everyone else ate poorly, but what is the fun in that? I actually have no problem getting back on the horse. The only problem is, my Wii Fit pad is starting to crack. I am curious what it will do when I step on it tomorrow. I need to get a hold of Nintendo to see if they have any kind of warranty, but then again, I have no receipt or anything. We shall see.....
I have a couple of doctor appointments coming up. I think this week is my first physical therapy appointment for my back. I have been having a bunch of lower back problems lately and sometimes, if often kills me to stand after sitting, leaning over, get up in the morning, etc. I mentioned it to my doctor at my physical and she thought it was because of my weight. I told her I have never had back problems and it didn't really manifest until I started losing this weight I have been losing. If I didn't have back problems 17 pounds (well, less now but will get back there) ago, why do I have them now that I have lost that weight? Her response - I think it is your weight. Well, I'll see how therapy goes. Is it BECAUSE of working out? Well, I could see if I was lifting weights or something, but the Wii Fit is pretty low impact. Who knows...
I also have my appointment with with the neurologist next week(?) for my headaches. Since early December when they were almost every day and intense every time, they have gone down in frequency and pain. However, I am still occasionally getting them and the fact that 99% of these headaches are in the same exact spot warrants a check up I think. My doctor asked if I was having depression and even asked the same question to Jess at her physical last week about me, but I don't believe I am. I don't know if Manuel is capable of depression, even in the worst of times. Am I? Angry, pissed, sad? Yes. Depressed? No, I don't think so...
I have another batch of movie reviews coming up this week as well as a few weeks old article I read in the paper that I just haven't had a chance to address, but will soon. Also, as it is 2009, it will be time to start posting pictures of burgers and ice cream. Yes, today is only the 4th, but pictures have already been taken. Next post on Tuesday...
Thursday, January 01, 2009
I hope everyone had a fun and safe time last night. We had a WONDERFUL time last night as we threw a party at the Valle household. We had a pretty good turnout - around 12 people or so. We had snacks, played games, drank, celebrated the ball dropping outside with noise makers, drank, and just overall had a really good time. The highlight was probably our two games of Kings Cup, a card game where what you draw determines what you have to do. There is a lot of drinking with this one. If you pull a Jack, you get to make a rule the table has to follow the rest of the night and well, I was having a hard time with that which made me drink and have to dance:
Why is it called Kings Cup? Well, if you draw a King, you pour some of your drink into a cup into the middle. The first 3 Kings pour whatever they are drinking into the cup - beer, tequila, vodka, etc. The person to get the last King? They win! Well, they win by having to drink the mixture in the cup. We played two games and here are the videos of the Cup being consumed both times...
Yeah, good times....